A memo from a senior software engineer that went "internally viral" at Google last week titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" reportedly laid out a manifesto for why women are less well suited for engineering work, and why the company doesn't need programs to recruit racial minorities either. The 10-page document itself can be seen here after getting leaked to Gizmodo (despite Google's strict confidentiality policy), and you can see why there was some considerable uproar about its contents on Twitter. As Motherboard reports, some employees suggest that it is evidence of a widely shared though not often admitted state of mind.
The document arrives at a moment when Google is being investigated by the Department of Labor over its alleged gender pay gap. But one anonymous employee tells Motherboard, "The broader context of this is that this person is perhaps bolder than most of the people at Google who share his viewpoint of thinking women are less qualified than men to the point he was willing to publicly argue for it. But there are sadly more people like him."
Internal article circulated at work today describing how gender rep gap in SW is due to biological differences btwn men/women.— Sarah Adams (@sadams007) August 4, 2017
That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with.— Andrew Bonventre (@andybons) August 4, 2017
Write a doc about how inferior women are, then try to be a hero by offering help to save the *vulnerable* 🤢🤢🤢 Still shaking in anger.— Jaana B. Dogan 👀 (@rakyll) August 4, 2017
The author is now in contact with me explaining why he received *supportive* response + more are going to leave if we don't fix the culture.— Jaana B. Dogan 👀 (@rakyll) August 4, 2017
The memo contains plenty of sophomoric generalizations such as "Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average," and "Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more 'feminine,' then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles."
Also, this senior engineer rails against the hostility the company as a whole shows toward conservative viewpoints. "Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require [sic] for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company."
In response to the memo and the uproar surrounding it, Google's VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown issued her own memo Saturday, that was published by Motherboard.
"Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate," Brown writes, also adding that she "found that [the memo] advanced incorrect assumptions about gender." "Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable," she writes, "But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that's why I took this job. Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions."
Cut to someone publicly outing the employee who wrote the memo, and him being thoroughly excoriated on social media.
Update: He's been fired.
Related: Department Of Labor Accuses Google Of Extreme Systemic Disparity In Pay Based On Gender
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